Unapologetic, Raunchy Racing
By Edwin Velez
Reviewed on Xbox One
Released on November 4th, 2016 for Xbox One
Developer: Gamepires Publisher: Iceberg Interactive
Ever wish your road rage could have more rage then road? Look no further than Gas Guzzlers Extreme, a combat driving game that ups the anti, or ammo, in a balls to the wall racer. Taking cues from titles like Burnout and Twisted Metal, Gas Guzzlers is an extremely fun title that offers a great variety of modes, solid graphics, and approachable controls all at a smaller scale price. From races, to derbys, and even surviving waves of zombies, Gas Guzzlers has a much fuller tank than you would expect at first glance.
Most racers typically ease you into the titles formula, explaining a bit of the modes, control schemes, and overall premise before letting you settle in behind the wheel. That is not exactly the case in GGE though unfortunately. After starting a career, you are set up with a sponsor, and not much else is discussed. Head over to the race portion of your options, and you will be greeted by a variety of race types to participate in. After playing a few rounds, you will begin to notice that you are climbing or dropping in the ranks, depending on your performance. The races, which you can participate in however you like, are always available. They will rotate tracks as well as bonus objectives, but the neat thing is that if you do not prefer one mode you do not have to play in it in order to advance. While this formula of throwing the player blindly in is a bit off putting, the fun you will have once you flesh things out really puts those feelings in the rearview mirror quick. The initial three race types you can participate in are Power Race, Battle Race, and Elimination Race. Power Races are more about actual racing, using minimal weapons and out driving the competition. Battle races are more orientated to a Mario Kart type feel, where you can shoot and trap your way to the finish line. Elimination sees the racers fight to not be in last place at the end of each lap, or they are in fact, eliminated. Note that in both Elimination and Battle Races, if your car or an opponent’s car gets destroyed, you are out for the race. This means if everyone but you loses their car before the race is over, you just landed a quick win.
There are also several other modes than the base three. After progressing to the top rank, you will enter a Championship which features a set amount of mandatory races. Win that, and you are entered into a new league. Some of the new modes you will find in the later leagues are Derby and Last Man Standing. These are more of an arena type style where you fight to the death so to speak. These are a blast to play for sure. Additionally, there are sponsored events where, if you are currently sponsored, you get a bonus check for winning the race. Your sponsors also throw down more cash for wins in your regular races as well. Along with the variety of modes comes a variety of cars, customizations, and sponsors. Most of the sponsors are filled with raunchy humor, which effectively landed with me. It is silly and over the top like the rest of the game but clearly fits Gamepires overall vision. The cars and subsequently their aesthetic and performance upgrades are all run of the mill for the most part but get the job done. One of the more important upgrades is your choice of weapon and how it will affect your skills on the tracks.
Many of the races are spent fighting and surviving. There is a solid amount of guns to choose from to aid you in this endeavor. My personal favorite was an upgraded version of the shotgun, which, when fired up close, had a huge impact on the cars. Many cars would get thrown off alignment with a few well-placed and timed shots, ultimately exploding if they did not up their health in time. From machine guns, rocket launchers, and chain guns, you can expect to run into and come across a lot of fire power during your seasoned career. One of the coolest features, which is on select weapons, is the option to fire backwards at those on your tail. Someone pumping your rear end full of lead? Return fire with the simple press of a button! It is not as accurate, but it surely helps. Aside from guns, there are also other pick-ups along the way. Things like health pick-ups, additional rounds, and boost help keep you in the race. Traps like smoke, mines, and stun grenades help you put others out of it. Once again, the variety does its job. I would not ask for less by any means, but I do not think GGE necessarily needs more in this department.
Some modes that you can do outside of the career include the ever-so- trendy pop culture icons known simply as Zombies. The survival mode that sends 10 waves of undead people, buffalo, dogs, and ogre like beings at you is one of the titles best. Clear the map of the dead with up to 3 A.I partners, all while maintaining your health and gas, which the latter of can be refueled at a central location on the map. You may have noticed that I mentioned that you can do this with 3 A.I partners. Unfortunately, in what is one of the biggest bummers in gaming I have seen this year, none on Gas Guzzlers Extreme is available in multiplayer, online or local. With such a fun and awesome structure, it saddened me to find out that the PC version had multiplayer, but the newly released console versions lacked it. If it is any good to Gamepires or Iceberg Interactive, I would TOTALLY play this online and especially locally! Aside from a few frame rate hiccups, that is really my only complaint. The graphics are better than trailers imply, though not all the lines are the smoothest, it really plays to its old-school appeal in a way that I don't think has a negative effect on its value.
I really like this game. It’s got some cheesy bits to it, like the hilarious pun filled names (Luke Likesheet, Alotta Fagina to name a few) or its Duke Nukem inspired commentator. Otherwise though, it’s a fun and engaging action racer. The career is not going to be deep like some serious racers, but thankfully Gas Guzzlers Extreme does not take itself too seriously because it really does not need to. I like it for what it is, and if you can look past the lack of multiplayer and aesthetic shine, you are truly in for a fun time. This game is one hell of a drive and worth the mileage you will put into it.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for the purposes of the review
Final Score: 8/10
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